PDPW Development Day Three: Dairy Business Management

On day three, we wrapped up our first two days of training and brought it all together in a session about dairy business management. We began by discussing the money behind a dairy, including what can make a farm profitable, how much equipment and buildings can cost, how much it costs to feed a herd of cattle, and how farmers make decisions based on the money they make. We looked at how farmers get paid for their milk, and what they can do to impact the price they receive. We then looked at how farmers can mitigate the risks they have with their farms. This included futures contracts and hedging. From there, we looked deeper into the costs of farming. We discussed the differences between hiring a custom harvesting crew or harvesting the crops yourself, and whether or not it was cost effective to install fans and a misting system in a ...
August 8, 2017
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PDPW Development Day Two: Farming, Fields, and Fundamentals

Day two of the PDPW APPs training brought us to Blue Star Dairy, located in Arlington, WI. Blue Star Dairy has three separate locations, and milks approximately 2,600 cows between the locations in Arlington, Deforest and Middleton. They use Germania herringbone style parlors, with a double 12 in Middleton, a double 16 in Deforest, and a double 18 in Arlington. Blue Star Dairy is owned by the Meinholz family, who takes great care and pride in their cattle. In fact, at their Arlington and Deforest locations, they use AfiMilk Weighing Systems in their parlors, which allows them to monitor each cows daily milk yield, activity and conductivity, as well as a many other features. In addition to learning about their cows, we also learned about the farmland that they run. They operate 4,500 acres to produce feed for their cattle, and purchase the remaining 1,500 acres of additional feed. While at ...
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PDPW Development Day One: Dairy Science FUN-damentals

The Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW) is the dairy industry’s professional development organization. They provide educational events that are open to members and non-members that connect producers, industry experts, and industry affiliates all across the nation; as well as industry outreach with the goal of educating others about the dairy industry. To learn more about PDPW head to pdpw.org. Our trainers were Dennis Frame, the current owner and manager of Timber Ridge Consulting. Dennis previously was a founder of the University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms Program and is also Professor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin Extension. Dennis continues to work with farmers and industry leaders to develop watershed programs and reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment. Shelly Mayer is PDPW’s Executive Director, as well as a mom and dairy farmer. Within the organization, she works with board leadership to develop a strategic, national plan, that includes the goals of helping dairy ...
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